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‘Tamil Nadu – The Land of the Vedas’: A New Book that explores Vedic Route to the Past

The new book written by archeologist Dr. Nagaswamy sheds light on historic events and how the present differs from the past

Ramachandran Nagaswamy. Wikimedia Commons
  • Archaeologist Dr. Nagaswamy has effortlessly blended Sanskritic and Tamil traditions
  • The book ‘Tamil Nadu – The Land of the Vedas’ is composed of 20 groups
  • Wars in ancient Tamil country were fought following Dharma Sastra


A book recently launched in Chennai in a special event celebrated the rich history of Tamil Nadu-the people, their ideologies, and the land. Archaeologist, Dr. Ramachandran Nagaswamy’s new book ‘Tamil Nadu – The Land of the Vedas’ helps us take a look back into history.

Dr. Nagaswamy shows attention towards the idea of Vedas as the fountain of Indian and South East Asian civilizations. He also challenges the myth of Tamil Nadu that claims it developed on its own; not a part of India.


The book starts with Sangam kings’ approach that blended Sanskritic with Tamil traditions harmoniously. ‘Both language texts venerated Nature and saw divine manifestation in it and in all animals. Vedic hymns had more references to natural phenomenon. In the first Purananuru song, Chera king Udiyan Cheral is praised as having the essential qualities of the five elements (pancha bhootas),’ reported the Hindu.

Read Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s “The Arctic Home in the Vedas”:

The book is composed of 20 groups. The first part covers quite a bit, taking readers through the Vedic tenets, the Sangam age, Tamil epics and bhakti poetry. It begins showing the Sangham king’s approach to blending Sanskritic and Tamil traditions. Blending them was based on the facts that both language texts respect nature; seeing divine manifestation in it as well as animals. It was also noted that wars in ancient Tamil country were fought following Dharma Sastra. The book mentions that the battles were only fought as a last resort; only if individual battles failed.

Tamil Nadu-The Land of Vedas, a book by Dr. Ramachandran Nagaswamy. Image source:
Tamil Nadu-The Land of Vedas, a book by Dr. Ramachandran Nagaswamy. Image source:

The second part shows us how the Vedic knowledge and Tamil traditions coexisted in the medieval period. While, the last part looks at the status of Brahmins today.

Today there is a very British approach to the law, military, and judicial system; it has not always been that way. Until the colonial period, more strongly during the Chola and Pandya rule, native wisdom was held on a higher pedestal.

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Ramachandran Nagaswamy in Chennai for the book launch event. Image source: The Hindu
Ramachandran Nagaswamy in Chennai for the book launch event. Image source: The Hindu

The Hindu mentions, one chapter specifically looks at educational institutions. The colleges were located in Ennayiram, Anur, Puttur, Tribhuvanai, Tiruvindalur and Tirumukudal. The typical teacher to student ratio was 1:30; each college only schooling roughly 100-300 students. In all of these colleges students learned Vedas, philosophy and Itihasa. This taught students, that unlike today, in order to run for office to be elected, one must receive an education in law.

Elections were far more elaborate than they are today, ensuring each candidate was qualified. In the 11th century an elected judge could only serve for five years, and could not be reelected for a consecutive five years. Also, when they left office, relatives could not fill their positions for at least two years.

These important historic facts can help today’s generation of learners see how the harmony between Sanskrit and Tamil (thought in ancient) and medieval Tamil Nadu actually helped civilization. The author does a wonderful job of breaking the facts down to his readers, reported the Hindu.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.



  1. The best thing about this book is that all the facts are simplified and stated by the author! Looks like an amazing book

  2. A very Good , encouraging News .Expecting morgen Informationen as requested by many interested readers.
    Its is important to have the necessary Info rightthrough.Thats Journalism!

  3. I have read Rigvedic verses. The description is given of sindhu region. Who was the father Tamil grammar? Anyone who researches will find him to be a Sanskrit scholar. I would recommend people to read “Return of the Divine Mother” by Prashant Saxena, for it gives translations from Rigved, Yog Sutras, Upanishads and Shakti texts.


  4. another book trying to push indo Iranian Vedas to south India.

    Tamil is a much older language than Sanskrit, Sanskrit is a made up language backed up by Brahman priests , Sanskrit does not have a tribe, no one spoke Sanskrit except for the Brahman priests but Tamil has an ancient tribe attached to it.

    just because Brahmans are spread accords India they have taken over all temples and they push this Veda and Sanskrit nonsense to destroy real Indian history and culture.

    Just like Islam and Christianity which was bought to India by foreigners this bramanic Hinduism and Vedas were brought to India to take over India through caste and claim Brahmans as higher caste.

    Tamil is very old and very scientific, the munivar’s sidhars were are scientists.

    • This is the wrong history you have been taught for political reasons. There is no division between Tamil culture and Vedic culture. That division is born out of the current political parties’ biases. If not, why did the kings build HUGE HUGE temples? They were completely Vedic in their identity and self image. Now the Kazhagam Katchis want to hide this fact and make them something else which they were not because they have “villified” the caste system and want to place the blame on someone “outside”. This is just fake history at its worst. All the Tamil Siddhars were entirely following – as per their own words – the “Veda Neri”.. Just because they spoke Tamil it is not that they did not revere Sanskrit. In fact even in the North India, Sanskrit was never the spoken language. Sanskrit was always reserved for certain special purposes.

    • Are you a scholar ? Where is your book as a response to his ? Do research, punlish and then talk rather than spewing out bombastic non sense.

    • You peoples were so brainwashed by British scholars that you missed your own identity and the grand narratives. The entire Aryan Dravidian theory was false and beauty is still peoples are doing PhD.


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Are We Hindus If We Live in India? The Answer to Contentious Question is Here

Hinduism. Pixabay

Oct 06, 2017: Have you ever wondered what being a Hindu means? Or who is actually fit to be called a Hindu? Over centuries, Hindus and Indians alike have asked this question to themselves or their elders at least once in their lifetime.

In the 1995 ruling of the case, “Bramchari Sidheswar Shai and others Versus State of West Bengal” the court identified seven defining characteristics of Hinduism but people are still confused to what exactly defines being a Hindu in the 21st century. It’s staggering how uninformed individuals can be about their own religion; according to a speech by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya there are various common notions we carry about who a Hindu is:

  • Anyone born in India is automatically a Hindu
  • If your parents are Hindu, you’re are also inevitably a Hindu
  • If you believe in reincarnation, you’re a Hindu
  • If you follow any religion practiced in India, you’re a Hindu
  • And lastly, if you are born in a certain caste, you’re a Hindu

After answering these statements some fail to remove their doubts on who a Hindu is. The question arises when someone is unsure on how to portray themselves in the society, many people follow a set of notions which might/might not be the essence of Hinduism and upon asked why they perform a particular ritual they are clueless. The problem is that the teachings are passed on for generations and the source has been long forgotten, for the source is exactly where the answer lies.

Religion corresponds to scriptural texts

The world is home to many religions and each religion has its own uniqueness portrayed out of the scriptures and teachings which are universally accepted. So to simplify the dilemma one can say that determining whether someone belongs to a particular religion is directly related to whether he/she follows the religious scriptures of the particular religion, and also whether they abide to live by the authority of the scriptural texts.

Christianity emerges from the guidance of the Gospels and Islam from the Quran where Christians believe Jesus died for their sins and Muslims believe there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet. Similarly, Hinduism emerges from a set of scriptures known as the Vedas and a Hindu is one who lives according to Dharma which is implicated in the divine laws in the Vedic scriptures.By default, the person who follows these set of religious texts is a Hindu.

Also Read: Christianity and Islam don’t have room for a discourse. Hindus must Stop Pleasing their former Christian or Muslim masters, says Maria Wirth 

Vedas distinguishes Hindu from a Non-Hindu

Keeping this definition in mind, all the Hindu thinkers of the traditional schools of Hindu philosophy accept and also insist on accepting the Vedas as a scriptural authority for distinguishing Hindus from Non-Hindus. Further implying the acceptance of the following of Bhagwat Gita, Ramayana, Puranas etc as a determining factor by extension principle as well.

Bottom Line

So, concluding the debate on who is a Hindu we can say that a person who believes in the authority of the Vedas and lives by the Dharmic principles of the Vedas is a Hindu. Also implying that anyone regardless of their nationality i.e. American, French or even Indian can be called a Hindu if they accept the Vedas.

– Prepared by Tanya Kathuria of Newsgram                                                                

(the article was originally written by Shubhamoy Das and published by thoughtco)

One response to “Are We Hindus If We Live in India? The Answer to Contentious Question is Here”

  1. Hindu is a historical name for people living “behind the river Indus”. So, everyone living in India is a Hindu, eventhough he might have a different faith.

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Lost in Time : The Less Explored Pamban Island and the Rameswaram Island | Travelogue

The land of temples, picturesque locales, architecture, and the home of the 'Missile Man' of India - welcome to the Rameswaram Island!

Rameswaram island
We take you through a town lost in time, Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram island. Wikimedia

Rameswaram, September 15, 2017 : Off the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, some 500 km south of Chennai, lies Pamban Island. Seemingly a stone’s throw from neighboring Sri Lanka, this is an island steeped in historical significance, and with some of the most resilient people alive.

One of the longest sea bridges in the country, the iconic Pamban Bridge connects the mainland with the island, also known as Rameswaram Island. With breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal, the journey to the island over this bridge rewinds one to colonial times, when it was built by the British to improve trade relations with Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Built in 1914 as India’s first-ever sea bridge, the 6,700-foot structure is in itself an engineering and historical marvel that has withstood several of nature’s furies — from storms to cyclones.

Rameswaram island
An overview of the Pamban Brindge. Wikimedia

The bridge initially ran up to the southeastern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi, now a ghost town. After a cyclone hit it in 1964, Dhanushkodi was washed away by the sea and is now a mere skeleton of the town it once was.

Remnants of its railway lines, church and the devastated dwellings of people can still be seen, though in very poor shape.

From the tip of the region, cell phone networks welcome one to Sri Lanka.

Visible from here is the Adam’s Bridge — a former land link between India and Sri Lanka, now undersea — that is also known as Rama Setu, the bridge believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s army to rescue Sita from Lanka.

Nambavel, a 50-year-old, says there can be no other home for him than Dhanushkodi, of pristine waters and picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal. Three generations of his family have lived here. Although the deadly cyclone forced many to migrate to villages around, some 50 families, including Nambavel’s, refused to leave.

“This has been our home for as long as we’ve known. We grew up playing in the sea water, then learnt to make our living through fishing or running petty shops,” Nambavel told this visiting IANS correspondent.

Rameswaram island
Residents of Dhanushkodi refuse to abandon their small town; for them the “sea is everything”. Wikimedia

“Even as many people we know migrated to nearby villages, there’s no home like Dhanushkodi for us — the sea is everything,” he said.

With sea levels rising around the world due to global warming, the region is constantly threatened by nature. But that does not deter Nambavel: “Even if another cyclone is close, most of us would like to be here, a land we’ve grown up in.”

Surrounded by sea and sand, the town cannot grow any crops and has no provision for electricity due to the wind velocity in the area. It is only the solar panels, an initiative of late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who hailed from Rameswaram, that light up the shacks of the few residents.

With Rameswaram considered one of the holiest places for Hindus, a majority of visitors make temples the focus of their travels.

Aiming to showcase the rich cultural and historical heritage of the island, apart from the much-visited temples, Utsa Majumder, the General Manager of the newly-launched Hyatt Place, Rameswaram, is working extensively on various itineraries that uncover the untrodden places in and around the region.

“There’s a lot more that the Rameswaram Island can offer than just the temples it is mostly known for. We want people to know that Rameswaram can be an experiential destination and not just a pilgrimage spot,” Majumder told IANS.

“From historic places that have stood the test of time to some incredible architecture and engineering like the Pamban Bridge, there’s a lot a tourist can see here,” she added.

The hotel offers these itineraries to travelers according to their interests, allowing them to explore different facets of the region, along with menus that present the cuisines of the land — from kuzhi paniyaram (rice batter dumplings) to kara kozhumbu (a spicy tamarind gravy).

Rameswaram Island
Local cuisine at Dhanushkodi. Wikimedia

The region also celebrates its much-beloved son Abdul Kalam. His two-storeyed house on Mosque Street is filled with thousands of his books and is always bustling with people.

A Rs 15-crore memorial to India’s “Missile Man”, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27, has also grown rather quickly as a tourist attraction. The memorial houses a copy of the last speech Kalam delivered at IIM-Shillong on July 27, 2015, a number of pictures of his meetings with world leaders, and a host of other objects.

As an island that is yearning to receive a boost to its tourism, even a bottle of water bought from a shack in Dhanushkodi goes towards supporting a family.


Reaching there: Flights to Madurai, the nearest airport, from all major cities. From Madurai, Rameswaram can be reached in 3 hrs 30 min (160 kms) by road.

For the picturesque views from a train, pick one that is available almost every hour to Rameswaram from Madurai Railway Station.

Stay: There are four-star, three-star hotels and smaller lodges in the town.

Best time to visit: October to March as the temperatures drop and stay between 20 to 30 degrees C, making travel easier. (IANS)


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Hello Foodies ! You Can Spot These 8 Street Foods at Every Nook and Corner in India

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere in India

Delicious Street Food
Delicious Street Food in India. Wikimedia

Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.

Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:

Vada Pao

Street Foods
Vada Pao in Delhi. Wikimedia

Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.


Street Foods
Papri Chaat. Wikimedia

The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.


Street Foods
Cabbage Momos. Wikimedia

The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.

Also Read: “Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan 

Poha Jalebi

Street Foods
Poha the staple breakfast of India, with Jalebi. Wikimedia

Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.

Idli Sambhar

Street Foods
Idli-Sambhar-Coconut chutney. Wikimedia

Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Chole Bhatura

Street Foods
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab.  It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.


Street Foods
Gujarati Dhokla (Khaman Dhokla). Wikimedia

The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.

Pyaz ki Kachori

Street Foods
Rajasthani Pyaz ki Kachori. Wikimedia

Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.

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